Feud led to Kingsteignton car park assault

By Crown Court Reporter in Crime

A martial arts enthusiast attacked a customer in a shop car park after an argument over a girl led to a feud between two friends. 

Connor Wade set on victim Jamie Evans as he was pouring oil into the engine of his car just outside Halfords in Kingsteignton, and broke his jaw with a single punch.

Mr Evans needed weeks of treatment including the insertion of a metal plate in his jaw and believed Wade’s martial arts training contributed to the severity of his injury.

Wade was with two friends who appeared to be laughing as they watched the attack, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Mr Evans was so upset by the incident, in which Wade also kicked his car, that he sold the Audi A3 which he had been restoring, for around £500 less than he hoped.

Jobless Wade, aged 20, of Summer Lane, Teigngrace, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and criminal damage and was jailed for 10 months, suspended for 15 months by Judge Brian Forster, QC.

He was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work, curfewed for two months, and told to pay £300 for the damage he caused to the car.

The judge told Wade: ’This was one blow which followed a falling out with a person who was seriously injured. You were with one or two other people who seemed to think everything was a joke.

’You pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and have stayed out of trouble. You are now subject to this suspended sentence and you are walking a tight rope. You need to realise how fortunate you are not to be going to prison.’

Miss Francesca Whebell, prosecuting, said there had been ill feeling between the two men before the incident on September 23 last year.

Mr Evans had gone to Halfords to buy oil for his car and was putting it into the engine in the car park when he was hit.

Miss Whebell said: ’He had his head under the bonnet. He looked up and was punched very hard to the left hand side of his face and immediately felt as if his jaw had been ripped out of place.

’He ended up of the floor but got up and made his way back to Halfords because he thought he would be safe there. He saw Wade drive off and went back to his car.

’Mr Evans got back in and locked the door and was driving off when Wade returned and kicked his vehicle, causing damage.’

A victim impact statement said he believed Wade used his martial arts training in the attack, which left him needing extensive treatment. He was so worried about Wade recognising his car in the future he sold it for less than he hoped.

Mr Martin Salloway, mitigating, said the ill feeling arose from an dispute over a girl. He said Wade accepts he made a serious mistake. He has no previous convictions and has stayed out of trouble since the incident.

The judge called Wade to the witness box to give his own explanation of what happened. He said he had not planned the attack but seen red when he came across Mr Evans.

He said Mr Evans had been threatening him because he had seen a picture of Wade with a group of people including his girlfriend while on a night out in Exeter.

He said: ’He thought I had been trying it on with his girlfriend. He rung up my brother and said he was going to put a baseball bat around my head.’

He said he punched Mr Evans in the car park because he thought he may be trying to fetch a bat from the back of his car. He said he regretted his actions which he said were ’bang out of order’.